By Paul Lebowitz
It’s a bad day for fish. Wilderness Systems became the latest manufacturer to offer a hands-free kayaking option when the company launched a new electic Motor Drive at ICAST 2015. That’s just for starts. A pedal drive gets prominent play in a video hosted on the Wilderness Systems Kayak Fishing Facebook page. Watch it, get excited, then scroll down for the rest of the news.
The time has come for the power of Wilderness Systems to be revealed.
Posted by Wilderness Systems Fishing Kayaks on Thursday, July 2, 2015
Now that you’re back, let’s talk about that motor drive. It’s a self-contained unit that plugs into the FlexPod receptacle located at the front of the cockpit in ATAK and Thresher kayaks. It’s based on slick Torqeedo technology. It’s impressively lightweight and compact – just 15 pounds including lithium battery, which floats. Wildy predicts a speed of up to 6 mph at a range of approximately 20 miles.
The throttle is housed in a separate gee whiz control complete with integrated GPS and computer-predicted remaining range and runtime. It lasts up to 8 hours (if you are judicious with the throttle), and can be recharged while underway (presumably just a trickle via solar panel – or a user’s own supplemental battery pack?).
The Wilderness Systems Motor Pod is the coolest thing ever, but it costs. How much? Wilderness Systems hasn’t said. A Torqeedo 403, the company’s most popular aftermarket kit for kayaks, retails for $1,799. We’ll know how much Wilderness Systems is asking for the custom solution sometime in late 2015, the scheduled Motor Drive release date.
For those who want a more value-oriented hands-free Wilderness Systems option, help could be on the way. You watched that video, right? There’s no missing the pedal drive. Wildy marketing rep Evan Lyendecker was mum when asked, but it’s a fair bet we’ll all learn more at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in August. For now, here’s a tasty screen capture from the video. Speculate away!